Waconians hit the high notes at CHS Music Festival

More than 200 musical performances have taken place at CHS in the build up to the School’s Young Musician of the Year finals.

From the competition heats, 37 pupils were selected to perform in the finals to an invited audience and judges, with performances split into Contemporary or Classical categories.

The Young Contemporary Musician of The Year Final was an evening of two halves… First up were the concert performances, judged by Tim France, Director of Music & Dance at University of Salford.

Waconian musician Daniel played guitar and sang his own song ‘Adrenaline’, inspired by a School trip to Germany when he visited the theme park ‘Fantasialand’. This inspired performance landed Daniel first place in the Year 7-9 category.

Year 10 pupil Oscar played twice during the competition. Following Waconian Tara’s stunning vocal performance of ‘Natural Woman’, he stepped up to the microphone and declared “that was amazing!

Introducing his performance of ‘Money For Nothing’, Oscar commented “I can hear all you guitarists laughing right now“, alluding to the complexity of the challenge ahead of him.

Oscar’s drum performance also included some audience participation, with cheers of “funky D!”, earning him second place in the Years 10-11 category for, as Tim said, his “showmanship” and “showing promise.

First in the category was DJ Ted who “showed real maturity in his song choices, particularly capturing attention with his opening track.”

Tim noted that it was incredibly close between first and second place for Sixth Form musicians, placing Upper Sixth pupil Max in second place for his rendition of ‘Cory Wong’ by Vulfpeck and crowning Upper Sixth pupil Ed as CHS’s Young Contemporary Musician of the Year, for his performance of ‘Pride and Joy’ on electric guitar, noting his “good stylistic understanding.”

After the Contemporary Music Festival Concert, it was time to let Battle of the Bands commence! Featuring covers of The Killers, Billie Eilish, Oasis, the overall winner was Stereo Boy’s energetic performance covering Nirvana.

The rainy weather set the ambience for the evening of The Young Classical Musician of The Year Final, judged by Tom Redmond, Director of Music at Chetham’s School of Music.

Before announcing the winners for each category, CHS Director of Music, Mr Andrew Pettitt noted “the fact you’re all here shows your passion for music, very well done!” Tom Redmond adding “Yes, bravo the everyone…to stand up here and bare your souls to a bunch of strangers is no mean feat.”

In the Year 7-9 category Waconian Evie was placed as runner up with her beautiful flute performance – one that Judge Tom stated as having “lots of time, space and beauty.” 

Waconian Pip’s piano performance of ‘Lage Waves’ by Pam Wedgewood, “drew everyone in to listen”, earning him first place in the Year 7-9 category.

Musician Fin performed three times during the concert, once as part of the Senior String Quartet and twice solo, but it was his performance on Cello, described as a “performance with good fire and fury”, which declared him as runner up in the Year 10-11 category.

Winning the Year 10-11 category, was Waconian Charlotte with a stunning vocal performance of ‘Somewhere That’s Green’ from Little Shop of Horrors. Tom commenting, “teach everyone to sing would you?”

The Senior String Quartet’s performance included some chatter with the audience, with violist Sam in Upper Sixth introducing the group stating “we are the Senior String Quartet, or as we’re usually known…quartet!” An exceptional performance of ‘Viva La Vida’ by Coldplay earnt the group the runner up position in the Sixth Form category.

Taking the trophy of CHS’s Young Classical Musician of The Year was pianist Ben who introduced his performance cool as a cucumber stating “I was meant to perform Beethoven, but I just changed my mind last minute!”

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